Time manages to slip by so quickly sometimes. One minute it’s the start of the year and the excitement for music builds and the next it’s suddenly November and you’re 11 months older and have an insatiable desire to eat as much pizza as possible. Anyway so as we are indeed heading towards the finishing line of 2015, I thought it might be a good idea to throw some props to some albums I’ve been enjoying but was unable to type up full blown reviews for. For sure you can expect these to pop up on some certain end of year lists but for now, get reading and get listening. These are all really good records, and I’m sorry I didn’t get to appreciate them properly. Love you.
Jamie XX – In Colour
Oh my gosh, Jamie XX delivered his first solo effort in the form of In Colour way back in May and what a fine effort it was. If you wanted some dance music that was full of house, electronic and pop elements that could sound just as colourful and as wonderful as the album’s cover then this is the record for you. This is a great record to enjoy throughout, and inbetween having some big hits in the form of Good Times and Sleep Sound it does boast some excellent deep cuts in the form of Girl, Gosh and Loud Places. A great, great record and easily one of the best dance records of the year.
Fitness Club Fiasco – Modern Thought
Never in my life did I imagine reading such a series of tragic and great events to illustrate the run up to releasing a new album but Fitness Club Fiasco granted that experience to me. The five piece band from Bristol have had babies, marriages, break ups, deaths, heart operations, successful mayor campaigns and brain surgery (the MRI scan is the album cover, fun fact) occur over the last three years and Modern Thought is the result of all those happy/bad experiences which fortunately puts a very nice, lovely spin on it. Elements of pop, rock and dance are thrown together to create a sound that’s catchy and yet full of grit – making for some very wonderful listening throughout.
Lianne La Havas – Blood
One of my favourite out of this list, Lianne La Havas’ Blood is a wonderful second album from the singer songwriter and it’s one that throws a whole lot of silky smooth, anthemic instrumentals at the sky. Opening track Unstoppable opens up the listener to the record in such a wonderful way that it’s difficult to not fall in love with it immediately. Excellent record, and it’s full of interesting twists and turns and Lianne vocals are on point throughout.
Gabrielle Aplin – Light Up The Dark
This is looking to be a trio of female singer-songwriters but nevermind. Another lovely lady who has delivered something great for 2015 is Gabrielle Aplin. Having been introduced to her by Vanessa of House in the Sand I have been hooked to Light Up The Dark since. Combing pianos with synths with drums with guitars with bass – this record is filled with instruments and fortunately the instrumentals are dense, catchy and full of intensity and thunder, which makes for the perfect backdrop for Gabrielle’s vocals. An awesome, awesome record.
Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness
Lastly, Julia Holter has delivered one of the sweetest records of the year with Have You In My Wilderness. Complete with strings and instruments that sound more from the folk persuasion, this is a record that blossoms and blooms throughout and emits such a wonderful, uplifting atmosphere from it. It fills me with happiness and I want it to fill you with happiness too.
Destroyer – Poison Season
Destroyer returned to the music scene with their new album Poison Season earlier this year and having had a bit of a breakthrough with previous record Kaputt it did have a lot to live up to – and fortunately it did. Bringing forth a much more intimate sound this time round, this album succeeded at being its own entity and did well to not be calling itself Kaputt’s follow up.
Mac Demarco – Another One
Not going to lie I’ve not been the hugest fan of Mac Demarco’s music but Another One is something that just sits right with me. Mac’s wonderful, off-kilter, winding guitar sounds combine with his drawly vocals and an atmosphere that constantly lets us know that hey, it’s cool man. This mini LP brings a lot of hooks, melodies and feel good vibes that counter against the sense of longing that the material often wants to talk about – resulting in an all-round fantastic little package. Ooof.
Art vs Science – Off The Edge of the Earth and Into Forever, Forever
The final recommendation is this. I saw the video of Art vs Science performing a cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman and immediately needed to hear more of what these guys can do. Their latest album Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever, Forever delivered so much more of the dancey, not-entirely-normal sounds that the Metallica cover offered and it tickled me very much in my happy place. Another great little record full of eccentricities and happiness.
So there you go, some recommendations of albums that I unfortunately missed from reviewing sooner but at least they can be added to the website now. I hope you’ve enjoyed all of them, and if you would like to check out some more then please do check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.